EDI Outsourcing: Roles and Responsibilities
EDI Outsource can be released by several methods. If you operate an in-house EDI system, you deal directly with your trading partners using the traditional EDI method. In an outsourcing scenario, a service provider becomes the ‘middleman’ between you and your trading partners. The service provider (EDI Outsource) understands your trading partners’ EDI guidelines and can handle the day-to-day details. You don’t have to know how EDI Outsource works, but you have to understand the implications for your business. If a customer sends you an order through EDI, for example, the EDI Outsource service provider will ensure that the transaction is picked up on schedule and delivered to you – but you must then ensure the order is shipped and acknowledged on schedule.
An inbound process begins with your trading partner (the sender) exporting transactions from their business application using their integration software. Their translation software maps the transactions into EDI format. The service provider (EDI Outsource) receives a file from your trading partner at the next scheduled pick-up time. Using one of the outsourcing methods, the service provider presents the transactions to your company (the receiver) for processing. Your company’s integration software interacts with your business application to import the transactions. (A company with a low activity might decide to re-key the transactions into their business application instead of importing.)
For an outbound process the flow is reversed. Your company (the sender) begins by exporting transactions from your business application using your integration software. You send a file to the service provider, who formats the transactions according to your trading partner’s EDI implementation guide. The service provider sends a file in EDI format to your trading partner at the next scheduled delivery time. Your trading partner (the receiver) imports the transactions into their business application.
In an outsourcing relationship, the service provider becomes responsible for all matters relating to EDI. They handle the day-to-day operation, troubleshoot any problems, and liaise with your trading partners’ staff. They will keep you up-to-date on procedural changes announced by your trading partners, and inform you of any changes that will affect your business application. Your company is responsible for managing the business relationship with your trading partners, and also managing the relationship with your service provider.
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